Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Life of Ceramics, Chapter Two: Preparing for an Historical Show.

                            Ceramic Vase inspired by Cycladic art, designed by Weston Neil Andersen
(designed sometime round about the 1980's)

Spring 2011 in Maine is cool and sunny with enough rainy days to keep the lawns green and the blossoms blossoming..

At Andersen Studio , we are pulling out the boxes of historical ceramics in preparation for the show at Studio 53 in downtown Boothbay Harbor, opening on May 25th. The work is very delicate and the glazes quite different from what we currently use. There are beautifully cast ceramic forms with double dipped glazes producing an interesting effect.

Pictured above are a pitcher, a vase with a downward sloping lip that can also function as a spout and the large size cruet or small wine decanter. All from the late forties or early fifties.

In contemporary times, creativity and innovation are frequently spoken about as the territory of new technology, leading some to view the world of studio potteries as a cult, albeit an ancient, classic and timeless one. Those who live the life of ceramics do with a personal passion for the process and the art. In the world of ceramics, Andersen Studio-Andersen Design is recognized for its designs and  history . The works which will be presented for the first time in this landmark show at Studio 53 in the picturesque village of Boothbay Harbor have a rarefied value within historical context.
This form is based on the wine decanter.
The lip has been modified so that it
slopes downward and functions as a spout.
The form is dipped in two different glazes
to a very interesting effect.
As many of our personal collectors testify, Andersen Studio has a strong personal and cultural identity. Past enthusiasts rediscover Andersen Studio as an a intimate connection to their own personal mythology and as a cultural icon with the power to evoke memories of long ago times.

When Weston and Brenda Andersen began their career in the environs of New York City , they were part of a young designers movement that included Eva Zeisel, Weston's instructor and colleague, and Russel Wright, who twice invited Weston to apprentice. Then the youthful Andersen's art and design was focused on the functional form. When the Andersens moved to Maine, the natural coastal environment inspired the wild life series of sculptures. Ever since the Andersen's ceramic functional designs and stoneware nature art has been associated with life on the Maine coast.

Brenda Andersen was Weston's artistic partner,contributing sculptures and expressive decoration to the line. Brenda developed many repeatable patterns and she also manifested one of a kind spontaneous art work such as the platter shown above with its rigorous brushwork in the form of a tree.

Many of the ceramics in the up coming show are being displayed to the public for the very first time in over half a century- in the community that started the grass roots Andersen collectibles movement.

See links to other historical publications on Andersen Studio